As a small business owner, I have seen first-hand the detrimental impacts an unstable and complex tax environment has on our nation’s job creators. The complexities of our current system make it incredibly difficult for families and business to make long-term financial decisions.
I will not vote to increase taxes. I stand firm in my conviction that you are the best person to determine how to spend your hard-earned money. If a man or woman pays a 25% federal income tax rate, they are spending one quarter of all their time at the office working for the federal government. Between federal income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, state taxes, payroll taxes, airline and transportation taxes, cell phone taxes, utility taxes, fuel taxes, alternative minimum taxes, etc., the American people are taxed enough. It is your money and you should be able to spend it on your family and your priorities.
American families have to live within a budget and within their means. So should the federal government. Yet many government officials want to raise taxes to help pay for more unnecessary programs that may be nice, but that our nation cannot afford. Studies have shown that most American families adapt to trying fiscal times by tightening their belts and making their lives work by saving more and spending less. It is beyond comprehension that the federal government would not do the same.
Raising taxes—especially during a recession or an anemic recovery—is not the answer to our debt problems and in most cases makes things worse. Even President Obama exemplified this belief when he extended the George W. Bush-era tax rates back in January 2011. Instead, simplifying the tax code and broadening the tax base, in addition to making real cuts to the federal budget, is the answer to America’s financial problems. Independent economists estimate that, when coupled with reduced federal spending, comprehensive tax reform could lead to the creation of 1 million additional jobs in the first year alone.
Furthermore, I reject the idea that people in the top tax brackets should be required to pay even more than they already do under the notion that they are “paying their fair share.” They are already paying more than their fair share. In fact, Heritage reports that “the top 10 percent of income earners paid 68 percent of all federal income taxes in 2011 (the latest year available), though they earned 45 percent of all income. The bottom 50 percent paid 3 percent of income taxes, but earned 12 percent of income.”
America has lost some of its biggest job-creating companies and individuals to other countries because they feel they are being taken advantage of in America. If our innovators leave America, our people will be left with a bloated government that has overextended itself with promises and financial obligations, and without those individuals and companies that have contributed so much over the years in taxes to pay for such obligations.
Congress must turn the tide of Washington’s spending trend and stop the bleeding. If we do not, our children and grandchildren will receive a country that has been made worse than what their forefathers inherited, and they will be forced to pay off the debts that our generations have selfishly incurred.
Our Founding Fathers set forth in our Constitution the parameters for the federal government. Today, our government has far exceeded what the Founder’s envisioned. As your Congressman, I am committed to enacting a fair and balanced tax structure, reining in federal spending, reducing the debt, and creating an environment in which jobs and American prosperity flourish. I am leading the House in these areas, and I hope President Obama and the United States Senate will join me and my colleagues in our efforts.
Efforts to Punish IRS for Selective Enforcement and to Protect Your Privacy
The nation was shocked by the revelations that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had been discriminating against certain groups based on their opposing ideology. It shook the foundation of our government—the IRS has never been loved by the American people, but many at least trusted them to execute tax law without prejudice. Because the power to tax is the power to destroy, millions of Americans were appalled and outraged at the actions of the current administration. In an effort to have the now-infamous Lois Lerner emails uncovered and hold the IRS accountable for the agency’s despicable behavior, I passed an amendment in 2014 that cut the IRS’ enforcement budget by $350 million and another amendment that prohibited bonuses for senior executive service employees at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for fiscal year 2015. CLICK HERE to read more.
When the IRS proposed a new regulation that would have required non-profits to share the Social Security numbers of their donors with the agency, my colleagues and I fought back. It defies commonsense that anyone would give this information to the IRS given that the agency unfairly targeted conservative groups for their political beliefs. As a result of Congressional pressure, the IRS announced in January 2015 that they were withdrawing this misguided proposal that would have violated the First Amendment.
Comprehensive Tax Reform
Families and businesses cannot make long-term financial decisions if they are forced to plan around a short-term, complicated tax system. Congress must restore clarity and simplicity to the U.S. Tax Code via comprehensive tax reform. Remarkably, the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the free world. American competitiveness worldwide is extremely hampered as a result. I am committed to restoring America’s competitive edge by lowering taxes and giving individuals a tax-code that is simple and clear. In the 112th Congress, the House made significant progress in this direction by passing the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act. I strongly supported this legislation at this time as it sought to implement a number of commonsense tax reforms including: lowering corporate tax rates from 35% to 25%, abolishing the Alternative Minimum Tax, and consolidating the number of income tax brackets from six down to no more than two.
Death Tax Termination Act
I am an ardent supporter and cosponsor of H.R. 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act, which serves as a repeal of the estate tax. I have voted multiple times to repeal this unjust tax. Mothers and fathers are taxed on their earnings and holdings while they are alive, and they should not have to worry about those holdings being taxed, yet again, when they die and aim to leave their children their belongings. This bipartisan legislation passed the House on April 16, 2015, by a vote 240-179. It is my hope that this legislation will be taken up by the Senate in a timely manner and signed into law by the president.
Medical Device Tax Repeal
I am an original cosponsor of H.R.160, the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2015, which would repeal the medical device tax. This bipartisan legislation passed the House on June 18, 2015 by a vote of 280-140. This tax is so unpopular that even 46 Democrats voted in favor of H.R.160. When the president and his friends in Congress passed Obamacare, they had to try to find ways to pay for this expensive legislation. It is illogical though to tax medical devices to pay for health care services and insurance. You are literally taxing the devices needed to provide the best quality of care. It is time to repeal this tax, along with the rest of the abomination known as the Affordable Care Act.
Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act
My position on tax policy is clear: no new taxes. The last thing our nation needs is new taxes, especially on internet access. As the internet is a central part of modern life, Congress must protect the ability of millions of Americans to access online job applications, health care information, online marketplaces and educational platforms online. That is why I have cosponsored the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act. This commonsense, two-line bill simply seeks to ban state and local internet access taxes permanently. The House passed this legislation on June 9, 2015.
Increasing Certainty for American Businesses
In the 113th Congress, I voted for and the House passed H.R. 4718. This bipartisan legislation was estimated to create 212,000 jobs. The bill would increase certainty for employers by increasing access to capital and allowing for the immediate 50% deduction of the costs associated with new equipment purchases and certain property improvements. This legislation would create jobs, increase wages and foster economic growth.
Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act
In December 2015, I voted for the bipartisan PATH Act. This legislation prevented tax increases for millions of businesses and hard-working American families. The Path Act made permanent several important tax provisions including: the R&D tax credit, section 179 small business expensing, the state and local sales deduction and 15-year recovery for restaurant and leasehold improvements. A study by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Research Foundation found that permanent Section 179 small business expensing will "increase economic output by almost $19 billion and create nearly 200,000 jobs over the next 10 years."